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2009 Faculty & Staff News

Kinman and Amoss to lead SACS reaffirmation and quality enhancement efforts

September 25, 2009

Longwood President Patricia Cormier has announced the appointment of Virginia Kinman, electronic resources librarian and associate professor, and Dr. McRae "Mac" Amoss, chair of the Faculty Senate and professor of French, to lead two important initiatives related to reaccreditation from the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).

Kinman will serve as director of the SACS reaffirmation, which is due in 2013. To gain or maintain accreditation with the Commission on Colleges, an institution must comply with the standards contained in the Principles of Accreditation: Foundations for Quality Enhancement and with the policies and procedures of the Commission on Colleges. The Commission on Colleges applies the requirements of its principles to all applicant, candidate, and member institutions, regardless of type of institution (public, private for-profit, private not-for-profit). Longwood earned its initial SACS accreditation in 1927 and was last reaffirmed in 2003.

"Assessment is a process of continuous evaluation and improvement," said Kinman. "While the SACS reaffirmation is required to maintain accreditation, it also offers the entire institution an opportunity to step back from our day-to-day activities and take a closer look at how well we are fulfilling our mission. I look forward to participating in this process of reflection and documenting the quality and effectiveness of Longwood's programs and services."

Since joining the faculty in 2003, Kinman has served on Faculty Senate and numerous university committees, including four years on the Committee on Finance and Planning. She currently serves on the Advisory Committee for Assessment. She has authored peer-reviewed publications and presented at state and national conferences on e-metrics and library assessment. She earned an M.A. in French from Auburn University and the M.Ln. degree with emphasis on academic reference from Emory University.

Amoss has agreed to coordinate the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), a new component of the SACS accreditation process, that reflects and affirms the commitment of the Commission on Colleges to the enhancement of the quality of higher education and to the proposition that student learning is at the heart of the mission of all institutions of higher learning. Developing a QEP as a part of the reaffirmation process is an opportunity for the institution to enhance overall institutional quality and effectiveness by focusing on an issue or issues the institution considers important to improving student learning.

Amoss joined the faculty in 1991. The director of general education and a professor of French, he is currently chair of the Faculty Senate and in March 2009 was appointed to the 14-member presidential search committee charged with finding a successor to President Patricia Cormier.

"The development of a Quality Enhancement Plan is a positive addition to what SACS requires from institutions," said Amoss. "Different from most parts of the compliance review, the QEP enables a university to look toward the future and focus the attention of all its constituencies on a specific area in which to improve student learning. I'm looking forward to working with the campus community in the development of Longwood's plan."
"I am grateful to these individuals for taking on this arduous task, which is critical to the mission of the institution," said Longwood President Patricia Cormier.

The Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools is the regional body for the accreditation of degree-granting higher education institutions in the Southern states. The Commission's mission is the enhancement of educational quality throughout the region and it strives to improve the effectiveness of institutions by ensuring that institutions meet standards established by the higher education community that address the needs of society and students. It serves as the common denominator of shared values and practices among the diverse institutions in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Latin America and other international sites approved by the Commission on Colleges that award associate, baccalaureate, master's, or doctoral degrees.